This is the narrow Roman street of Via Monte D’Oro, running 250 yards from Via Fontanella Borghese to its south, to the market in Via Tomacelli, as shown, to its north. The gal would never have known but at number 30, in this narrow street, on the left of the photo, is the entrance to JK Place Roma. No elaborate door with doormen or potted plants or an overhead canopy for this discreet place (but who cares, a charismatic prime minister and fashionista Kate Moss are among those who have already found this luxury hotel, and loved their – separate – stays).
Inside, what was formerly an art college has been transformed, with the meticulous style of designer Michele Bonan, into a 30-room art hotel. A one-time central courtyard, now glassed over, is a light-filled salon. One of its wall-paintings stands in contrast to that narrow street outside; here, the available space opens up, with overhead daylight, white walls edged in mottled marble, lifesize classical sculptures and lots of sitting areas, highlighted with absolutely perfect white orchids. Everything is perfect here. There are hundreds of brand-new hardback books, here and in another lounge, leading off the main entrance foyer.
The books were all bought, online, by the hotel’s Project Manager (and GM) Samuel Porreca, and the owner of the JK brand, Ori Kafri. Want fashion and travel, want to know all about those elongated cars of the 1950s and 1960s? You will find something here. Want to go upstairs? You are in for a treat. One of the mirrored, marble-framed doorways in the main salon in fact opens into the elevator, which is ten by ten feet, its walls covered in smoky mirror. Two of its interior walls are taken up by grey velvet chaises lounges, but sadly there is not much time for lounging before you get to the top (fourth) floor.
My room, on the second floor – number 20 – looked out over Via Monte D’Oro. The main area is a square shape, about 14 by 14 feet dominated by an outline four-poster with delicate cream drapes at the back. Off the main area are a walk-in closet, and an S-shaped walkway to the huge bathroom (with bespoke AlmaK toiletries, and Pedersoli towels that REALLY dry). Floors first: mushroom carpet in the bedroom, otherwise marble-edged highly-veneered teak. The shower and toilet stall walls are striped, with meticulously-joined vertical bands of grey and champagne marble. Oh the work in this luxury hotel – but then look how the ceiling-high curtains are set.